Program Leader Spotlight - David Mota De La Parra
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Program Leader Spotlight - David Mota De La Parra

We are highlighting program leaders who will be guiding students through their travel journeys this coming summer. First up is David.

David Mota De La Parra – Program Leader, The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica


David was born in Mexico. He studied psychology and has a master’s degree in Culture and Development Studies. The aim of that field is to create social and environmental projects that truly work with the needs and realities of people.

He has worked on social projects around the world for many years, and in most cases experiential education, which involves learning through experience, was a central element of each project’s success. He uses this knowledge while leading student travel programs.

Rustic Program Experience

David will be leading Rustic programs in the Dominican Republic this summer that are focused on water access. This primarily includes the Mountain Air and Island Service program.

Previously, David worked on Rustic programs from 2019-2021 in both the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. In 2019 he assisted with a youth leadership program in Costa Rica. In the spring of 2020, he worked in the DR on water access and sanitation and mangrove and coral reef restoration. In 2021 he went back to Costa Rica to lead the Pura Vida Service program and Turtle Conservation Project.

Favorite Program Activity

David says he enjoys the Rustic Ties discussions where students talk about their experiences.

“I find them a fantastic space for people to take time to really understand the meaning of the experience they have and connect deeply with one another. It’s very beautiful to be part of that and see people grow,” David said.

Best Program Moments

David says there are too many wonderful times to name just one.

“In every program there are some wow moments when you see that people feel and experience things that will have an impact in their lives,” David said.

“I have seen beautiful friendships emerge, deep appreciation for life, joy, connection to the places and people they visit, people expanding their comfort zone and feeling a sense of purpose. A bunch of beautiful things.”

For more information on Rustic’s programs in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, please visit our program page.

About the Author

Mary Rogelstad

Content Writer